General — 17 April 2012 — by Albert J. Ciego
A resident of the Lake I area of Belize City today escaped with his life, unhurt after a gunman open fire on him around 6:30 a.m. while he was riding his bicycle on Casuarina Street towards Vernon Street.
At the street’s junction with Hibiscus Lane, the gunman escaped, but not before firing nine times at Leroy Gomezz, 24.
The gunman came from Mahogany Street, dismounted his bicycle and fired at Gomez, who took cover behind a Dodge car that was parked on the street.
Residents of the neighborhood who became alarmed at the early morning murderous gunfire called police, who came quickly.
Police said that when they searched the area, they found 9 expended 9mm shells, and found the back windshield of the Dodge car riddled with bullet holes. The back bumper of the car was also damaged.
The shooter has not yet been found, and police continue to investigate.
A jury had unanimously found Gomez guilty of rape, robbery and aggravated assault around 3:30 p.m. on August, 9, 2010, and on August 13, 2010, he was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment by Justice Herbert Lord. Gomez was sentenced to 9 years for rape, 11 years for robbery and 2 years for aggravated assault. Justice Lord stipulated that the sentence for rape should run concurrent to the other sentences.
However, Gomez appealed the sentence, which was overturned, and a new trial ordered by the Court of Appeal. A new trial date was set, and at the second trial, he was found not guilty, and was set free that same year, 2010.
Gomez, however, still has another rape charge over his head, which is currently before another magistrate, and involves burglary and escape from prison.
He is presently out on bail granted by Magistrate Dorothy Flowers, of $7,000 plus 1 surety.